Loss-making Atlas African Industries is set to award its newly-hired COO, Willem Jacobus Bodenstein – a slot machine and sports betting specialist – shares worth $3m as compensation for driving the company’s growth in the gaming business.
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]rovided he meets performance targets, the 2.3 billion Atlas shares to be allotted Bodenstein could see him become a significant – if not controlling shareholder – in the firm within the next few months.
Bodenstein, former CEO of South Africa’s Vukani Gaming Group, joined Atlas in December with a mandate to develop its gaming business in several African markets.
He is to develop the business in several phases, during the first phase of the expansion, Bodenstein will be tasked with acquiring physical gaming licences in Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Uganda.
In the the second stage he will seek to acquire land-based gaming licences in Ghana or another, unconfirmed, jurisdiction.
In the third and final phase, Bodenstein will manage all operational aspects of Atlas’ land-based gaming business in those markets, where the company aims to deploy over 100 slot machines.
Atlas estimates that the expansion will be concluded by March, adding that allotment of shares to Bodenstein will require a shareholders meeting to be ratified.
The company recently invested $481,000 to acquire a 13.5 per cent stake in BonanzaWin, a Nigerian gaming company offering a range of bricks-and-mortar and online play gaming experiences including sports betting, live casino, slot games, virtual games and football pools lottery.
Atlas is looking to develop BonanzaWin’s online gaming infrastructure and is reported to be in discussions with potential partners.
In December, the Channel Islands-based firm – which remains suspended on the London and Nairobi stock-markets – moved to raise $1.5m by issuing shares to new investors, marking the latest of a series of fundraisings which have deeply diluted shareholders.